The versatile golden liquid often known as honey wine (but isn’t technically related to wine at all), made from fermented honey and water, mead, isn’t the most common category of alcoholic beverages here. But thanks to local homebrewer Simon “Bootlegger” Zhao (he got the nickname from pushing his home brews to his friends and family), locally-made craft mead is now a reality.
He produces his mead from a cozy space located in Tuas under the label Rachelle The Rabbit Meadery, named so after his daughter who is of the same age as the meadery. The meadery began operations in 2016 and the first bottles hit shelves only late last year. Currently, Rachelle offers four kinds of mead commercially on their web store, and at bars and bottle shops like Druggists, The Great Beer Experiment, Temple Cellars and Wild Barley Gourmet Shop.
Their meads are designed to be more like wine than beer (unlike Gosnells Mead, which more resembles beer), and so range from 12-15% in ABV, and come in neat 500ml bottlings.
The most popular one—and best, in our books—is the Rachelle’s Double Kick ($50), which gets its flavors from a very traditional mead recipe of orange, cinnamon and cloves during secondary fermentation. Like most meads, it’s mighty sweet, but not cloyingly so, and is floral to the nose while being easy on the palate. Then there’s the locally-inspired Rachelle’s Bandung ($45), which isn’t creamy as you’d expect from the name, but rather, refreshing and dry like rosé.
Or try the zesty and spicy Rachelle’s Upper Cut ($48), which harks back to mead’s early days as a remedial drink. Here, lemon and ginger lends a citrusy, tangy sensation to the beverage. There’s also the dry and light Rachelle’s Liquid Gold ($42), a nutmeg and cinnamon spiced mead that has the lowest ABV among the selection at 12%. For more experimental flavors, try contacting Zhao himself via Rachelle’s Facebook page. You’d be surprised what he’s been brewing.
Rachelle The Rabbit Meadery meads can be purchased on their website and comes with free delivery within Singapore.